Updated 04/12/11 – 5:32 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — More than 40 candidates have applied to become Chicago’s next police superintendent, officials said Tuesday.

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The Chicago Police Board will sort through the applications, interview a number of candidates and present three finalists to Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, who takes office May 16.

Board officials said any of those applications have come from current Chicago police officers.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports that, of those who beat Monday’s 5pm deadline, roughly half are from within the department and include members of Interim Supt. Terry Hillard’s command staff.

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Asked if there were qualified candidates in the department to take over as top cop when Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel takes office, Hillard said, “Let’s put it this way, I asked any and everybody to apply from my command staff.”

The six members of Hillard’s command staff are a diverse group of veteran commanders, vying to take command of the 11,000 member department.

Some believe the new superintendent should be one of those six officers or more than a dozen others from within who’ve applied for the job.

“I think that we probably need to try to get an inside candidate; someone that knows the city of Chicago, is familiar with the communities, familiar with the set up and where our issues assist across the city of Chicago,” Ald. Michelle Harris (8th) said. “But, again, it’s the mayor’s decision at the end of the day.”

If history is any guide, of the more than 40 candidates, roughly one-third will be interviewed, with three finalists submitted to Emanuel.

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He doesn’t have to pick one of them, but a well-placed source said, “I can’t believe the Police Board and Rahm Emanuel aren’t on the same page.”

Former New York and Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton is considered the gold standard and has the support of former Supt. Jody Weis, who recommended Bratton on his way out earlier this year.

Last week, the man thought to have been the frontrunner, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, said he was out.

Ramsey, a native of Chicago, decided to stay in Philly for the foreseeable future. Sources said Ramsey was asking for a compensation package of more than $400,000 and Emanuel found that unacceptable.

Whether their new leader comes from inside the department or out, the department is facing unprecedented challenges, protecting communities and themselves.

“This was a very, very difficult year in Chicago Police Department,” Mayor Richard M. Daley said Tuesday as he listed the five officers who died in the line of duty in 2010: Sgt. Alan Haymaker, Officer Thomas Wortham, Officer Thor Soderberg, Officer Michael Bailey and Officer Michael Flisk.

“They gave their life for us to make this city a better city,” Daley said.

Hillard has taken officers out of specialized units, putting them back on the beat. Weis, criticized as he was, used specialized, targeted response teams, to drive down violent crime statistics in most areas.

The choice of a new superintendent could be as much a matter of philosophy as personality.

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Hillard, who served as superintendent from 1998 to 2004, is now back on an interim basis. But he has said he does not want the job permanently.